• 88°

Join us for a Mayanist lecture on Thursday

In the late 1920s, aviator Charles Lindbergh was hired to fly over the Yucatan peninsula in order to locate a particular lake in the region of the ancient Mayan ruins at Coba.

When Lindbergh landed, he reported spotting ancient ruins, including a stone pier leading out into a jungle lake. For over fifty years, experts wondered where the pier was located, or indeed, if it really existed.

Natchez’s own Lee Jones and Englishman Ian Graham eventually found the pier, in what was a major discovery in Mayan studies.

Jones is a native of Natchez, and is well known in the Natchez community as a businessman and a leader of First Presbyterian Church. However, far beyond the borders of Natchez, Jones is internationally recognized as a Mayan scholar, researcher and explorer.

His interest in Mayan culture dates to 1975, and his first trip to Central America in search of Mayan ruins was in 1976. Since then, Jones has made numerous trips to Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico searching for Mayan ruins, and studying them.

Jones has published his research in the Journal of the Institute of Mayan Studies. Jones has even been elected to the Explorer’s Club, truly a high honor and distinction, shared by the likes of Ernest Shackleton, Thor Heyerdahl and Edmund Hillary.

For decades, Jones would take time off from his lumber business and work with Ian Graham, perhaps the leading Mayanist in the world. Together, they mapped the Mayan center of Uxmal, updating old maps from the 1800s, and mapping other sections of Uxmal which had never been mapped. 

Mississippi School of Folk Arts is pleased to present  Jones’ Mayan Art and Architecture lecture Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. Social time starts at 5:30 p.m. and the lecture begins at 6 p.m. Please join us for what will certainly be a fascinating event, at our campus at 209 Franklin Street, right in downtown Natchez.

Paul D. Sullivan, is a Natchez resident and member of the Mississippi School of Folk Arts.